UK Doctors Working In Australia: Job Prospects, Registration & Costs.

UK doctors working in Australia

Any doctor who has worked for more than a few months in Australia will likely have worked alongside a UK doctor who has decided to work in Australia. Whether this is for a short-term working holiday or a permanent move. As someone who has worked in Medical HR for more than two decades, I have found that UK doctors on the whole to be a really good group to work with.

Can UK doctors work in Australia? The answer is, of course, yes. The United Kingdom provides the largest source of overseas doctors or International Medical Graduates (IMGs) working in Australia. Of course, no doctor coming from another country is absolutely guaranteed to be able to work in Australia.

But because the UK medical training system is recognized by the Medical Board of Australia as being on par, UK doctors have good success with either becoming generally registered through what is called the competent authority pathway or being recognized as a specialist through the specialist pathway. In 2017 (the latest year we have figures for) 430 UK doctors were recommended for specialist registration, with many more achieving general registration.

So the prospects for working in Australia as a UK doctor are extremely good. But it's important to give you a little bit more detail. As I have highlighted there are two main options for getting registered. So we will talk about these first and then go into some other common questions.

The Competent Authority Pathway. The Option For UKTrainee Doctors.

If you are a trainee doctor in the UK. Then you are looking at the competent authority pathway for working in Australia.

The competent authority pathway assigns preferential status to any doctor who has completed their primary medical training in one of the following countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and the Republic of Ireland.

There is largely an historical rationale for this situation. It is based on the premise that all these jurisdictions have similar approaches to medical school training and similar standards.

New Zealand is not included in the list above as its medical schools are accredited by the same body as Australian medical schools, the Australian Medical Council. So doctors from New Zealand in Australia are generally treated identically as those from Australia.

If you are an international medical graduate and you have achieved general registration in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom (but not the Republic of Ireland) you are also eligible for the competent authority pathway.

What are the steps involved for the competent authority pathway.

You can find out more about the competent authority pathway on the Medical Board of Australia website.

The key steps are as follows:

  1. Securing an employment offer
  2. Applying to the Australian Medical Council for primary source verification
  3. Applying for registration to the Medical Board of Australia
  4. Completing 12 months supervised practice
  5. Applying again to the Medical Board of Australia for general registration.

Eligibility for Competent Authority

You can do a “self-assessment of your eligibility for the competent authority pathway on the Medical Board of Australia website here.

The essential requirements are:

You need to be a graduate of a medical course conducted by a medical school in the United Kingdom which is accredited by the General Medical Council


Successfully complete Foundation Year 1, or complete 12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) in the United Kingdom, or complete 12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) another Medical Board of Australia approved competent authority country, which is also approved by the GMC.

OR if you are an IMG who has been working in the United Kingdom you need to

Successfully complete the Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) test


Successfully complete the Foundation Year 1, or 12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) in the United Kingdom, or 12 months supervised training (internship equivalent) completed in another Medical Board Australia approved competent authority country, approved by the GMC.

For this reason, doctors who have completed medical school in another European Union country are often unable to get registered in Australia via working in the United Kingdom as they are often not required to complete the PLAB.

What types of jobs can I apply for as a UK Trainee?

You can pretty much apply for any sort of trainee job. There are often a number of postgraduate year 2 or 3 general jobs on offer. They are generally termed Resident Medical Officer in most States and Territories, but may also be called House Officer or Hospital Medical Officer in some places.

Above these sorts of posts, come the specialty training positions. Australia's specialty training system is fairly much in parallel with the United Kingdom. So you tend to enter specialty training around postgraduate year 3. These positions are generally referred to as Registrar positions. But you might also see advertised as Senior House Officer or Trainee or Advanced Trainee.

One key thing to look out for is that most of these jobs will not accept an overseas applicant.

A key thing to look for is the phrase “eligible for registration” in the selection criteria.

It is very important to try and secure an employment offer. Whilst you can apply to the Australian Medical Council to check your primary medical degree at any stage. You won't be able to gain registration until you have an offer of employment. This is because the Medical Board needs to see a supervision plan from your employer.

Outside of general practice, the majority of employment opportunities for trainee doctors occur within public hospitals. So your best places for finding suitable job postings are on the State and Territory health department recruitment sites. We have a listing of these on our international doctors' resource page.

What Type of Supervision Will I Need Or Get?

The Medical Board of Australia is very vigilant around supervision standards for IMG doctors. What sort of supervision you receive will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • your qualifications
  • your previous experience, especially in the type of position for which you have applied
  • whether you have practiced recently and the scope of your recent practice
  • the requirements of the position including the type of skills required for the position
  • the position itself, including the level of risk, the location of the hospital or practice and the availability of supports (supervisors)
  • the seniority of the position, for hospital position

In general you will either be approved for Level 1 or Level 2 Supervision. There are 4 Levels and the higher up you go the less direct oversight you require.

Level 1 Supervision.

Level 1 Supervision requires your supervisor (or alternative supervisor) to be present in the hospital or practice with you at all times and you must consult with them about all patients. Remote supervision (for e.g. by telephone) is not permitted. This type of supervision is generally recommended when you are very junior yourself or entering a junior role which you are not very familiar with. In Australian major public hospitals, there are many layers of other doctors who you can get supervision from. So Level 1 is not too much of an issue in these circumstances.

Level 2 Supervision.

Level 2 Supervision, which is what most UK trainees approved to work in Australia will normally be approved for is a step up from Level 1 Supervision. Supervision must primarily be in person but your supervisor can leave you to do work on your own and you can discuss by phone. You should discuss with them on a regular (daily) basis what you have been doing with patients. But do not need to discuss every case.

Level 3 Supervision.

Level 3 Supervision, is what you might receive if you are working in an Advanced Trainee role in the UK and transferring to something similar in Australia. In this case you have much more primary responsibility for the patient. Your supervisor needs to make regular contact with you but can be working elsewhere and available by phone or video.

What happens after I commence my position?

Once you are approved for registration and you have your visa issues sorted you will be able to commence work. Generally your employer helps you out with all these things. You will be working under what is called “provisional registration” by the Medical Board of Australia. Generally all you need to do for this 12 months is to pay attention, show that you can learn and grow and get regular feedback from your supervisors. Your supervisors will need to complete regular reports for the Medical Board of Australia and it is your responsibility, not theirs to see that they are completed and returned on time. If all the reports go well you will be able to be recommended at the end of the 12 months for general registration.

You will probably be starting to look for another job or negotiating an extension around this time. With general registration you may be able to apply for a skilled visa, as well as be looking at applying for permanent residency.

Permanent residency is crucial for applying for most specialty training programs. See below.

The Specialist Pathway. The Option For UK Specialists

For UK specialists your option for working in Australia is what is called the Specialist Pathway.

Once again this starts with becoming verified as a doctor with the Australian Medical Council and should again coincide with an active search for a position.

You may be lucky enough to be in a targeted specialty area where you might successfully be approved for what is called an Area of Need Position, in which case the employer or recruitment agent will provide you a lot of support and will likely pick up the costs of being assessed.

For most International Doctor specialists however these days you will be approaching the college directly to be assessed for specialist recognition. This is not something to be trifled with. The paperwork requirements and the cost (generally around $10,000 AUD or more) is considerable.

On the plus side, the colleges all have reasonably helpful information on their websites, including the application forms and a little bit about their criteria for assessment.

Finding Out What You Need To Do.

We have saved you the trouble of finding those pages by putting them on our International Doctors resource page here.

The majority of UK specialties (but not all) map to a similar college or specialty in Australia. So working out which specialty goes into which Australian college is generally not too confusing. We have put together a summary of the Australian specialist medical colleges here.

After you go through your specialist assessment you are given an outcome.

In the majority of cases for UK specialists, you will be deemed substantially comparable. This essentially means that you will need to work under some form of peer review for up to 12 months and so long as your reports are satisfactory you will be recommended for specialist registration at the end.

Occasionally UK specialists are deemed to be partially comparable (a situation where this may occur is if you have just recently finished specialty training but have not worked as a specialist for very long). In this situation you will need to work under supervision for longer and may well also face some formal examinations.

Rarely are UK specialists deemed not to be comparable by the college. This only happened to 6 out of 409 UK doctors in 2017 (less than 1%). If you are deemed to be not comparable, this means you cannot directly become a specialist in Australia. You will probably have to go through the competent authority route and re-enter training in Australia.

How to Maximize Your Chances of Getting a Substantially Comparable Outcome.

To ensure that you are seen as substantially comparable by the relevant college I would recommend the following:

  • You should have your Certificate of Completion of Training and relevant college Fellowship
  • You should ideally have worked substantively at a Consultant level in your field for 3 years or more
  • You should be able to demonstrate good standing with the GMC and your employers
  • You should be able to demonstrate ongoing continuing professional development
  • You should prepare for your interview with the college as if it were an important job interview

Can you enter training in Australia if you are a UK doctor?

To undertake formal specialty training in Australia you need to be accepted into a college training program. In all circumstances, you will need general registration and in many cases permanent residency or citizenship.

After receiving your general registration UK doctors can apply for specialty training in the same way that Australian trained doctors do. And if accepted will go through the exact training program and experience. Some colleges may offer recognition of prior learning for any UK training you have done already. But this is often quite limited and may at best normally shave one year off of your training.

An Alternative But Limited Option.

There is an alternative but time-limited pathway for UK doctors who are just seeking a short term experience in Australia to add to their training in the UK. This is called the Short Term Training in a Medical Specialty Pathway. To do this you must be offered a training position first and you must have either completed you training in the UK or be less than two years from completion. So this is a program mainly for early career specialists or advanced trainees.

In this pathway you go through the same steps with the AMC as per the competent authority pathway to gain registration. You will not, however, be able to apply for specialist assessment as part of this pathway. But if you gain general registration you may then be able to apply for another position and then apply for specialist assessment.

Can you do your internship in Australia as a UK doctor?

Basically no. Internship in Australia is a provisional year that only applies to medical graduates from medical schools in Australia and New Zealand. There is a “loophole” which only applies to doctors who have not been able to complete an internship or equivalent in their own country. But the Medical Board warns that this is not a great option and is only granted in limited cases. You are far better off applying for the Foundation Program in the UK and completing at least Foundation Year 1.

How many UK doctors are working in Australia?

There is no one public data source to tell us how many UK doctors are currently working in Australia.

From data collected by the Australia Government we know that for 2017 (latest available year):

  • 718 applications were made for provisional registration via the competent authority pathway by UK doctors with 701 granted provisional registration
  • An additional 43 applications were made for provisional registration via the competent authority pathway by doctors who had completed the PLAB in the UK, with 31 being granted provisional registration
  • 409 applications were made for specialist assessment, only 6 of which were deemed not comparable, 36 partially comparable and 367 substantially comparable.
  • 430 UK doctors were recommended for specialist recognition with 12 not being recommended

How hard is it to become a specialist in Australia if you are from the UK?

Specialist doctors from the United Kingdom are not automatically granted specialist recognition. However, most are. As you can see from above in 2017 there were 409 applications made for specialist assessment to the Australian colleges by UK doctors and of these, the majority were deemed substantially comparable.

UK doctors tend to get a very favourable outcome in comparison to doctors from most other countries. The UK has generally the highest rate for doctors being seen as substantially comparable. Even when comparing to the other competent authority countries of the United States, Canada and Republic of Ireland.

We hope that you found this summary about how UK doctors can work in Australia useful. If you have any questions or queries or just want to relate your experience. Please feel free to leave a comment below. We would love to hear from UK doctors who have made the journey to Australia.

Are there any particular specialties that are easier to apply for?

The majority of specialties have some vacancies and will provide opportunities for UK and other IMG doctors from time to time. This is particularly the case if you are prepared to go outside of the major cities. Some areas of medicine are more popular and so finding jobs in areas such as most surgical fields, as well as other fields such as cardiology can be quite difficult.

On the other end of the spectrum general practice, psychiatry and most parts of critical care medicine are often always looking for doctors.

Costs of Moving To Australia and Working As a Doctor.

There are lots of costs to consider when thinking about moving to Australia to work as a doctor.

There are some direct costs to consider. Most of which relate to the bureaucratic process of being assessed and gaining registration.

Some of the costs you may be up for, include:

AUD (unless other wise noted)
Establish Portfolio with Australian Medical Council$500
Registering with EPIC and having one primary degree checked $125 USD + $80 USD
Medical Board Application Fee for Provisional Registration$382
Medical Board Application Fee for Specialist orGeneral Registration $764
Medical Board Provisional Registration Fee$382
Medical Board General or Specialistt Registration Fee$764
College Specialist Assessment Fees$6,000-$11,000
College Placement Fees (for period of supervision)$8,000-$24,000

Further, if you are required to undertake further exams there will be a cost for this as well. As an example, RACS charges exam fee is $8,495.

The Cost of Your Time and Effort.

To all of this cost, you will need to factor in the cost of your own time. It takes a lot of effort and persistence to deal with the paperwork and track down the records you need.

In addition you are probably going to have to pay costs in your own country for things like records of schooling and certificates of good standing.

There are also visa costs.

And then there is the cost of airfares and transporting your belongings halfway across the world.

Depending on where you work in Australia you may find that the cost of living is higher or lower than you are used to. House prices and therefore house rental rates have gone through the roof in Australia in the last decade or so but are starting to come down.

You will probably have to factor in some initial extra hotel or short term rental charges whilst settling in and you may find if you have children that you have to pay to enroll them in school as public schooling is only generally free if you are a citizen or permanent resident.

If you are lucky and in one of the specialty areas of demand your employer may offer to pay for some of these costs. Its certainly worth asking about it.

Related Questions.

Question: Are there any other options for working as a UK doctor in Australia?

Answer. Some doctors just want to come to Australia for a limited period of time as an opportunity to train in another country.

As we have highlighted above there is an alternative but time-limited pathway for US doctors who are just seeking a short term experience in Australia to add to their training in the US. This is called the Short Term Training in a Medical Specialty Pathway. To do this you must be offered a training position first and you must have either completed you training in the US or be less than two years from completion. So this is a program mainly for early career specialists or advanced trainees.

Question: Should I use a medical recruitment company if I am considering working in Australia?

Answer. It is possible to deal directly with employers in Australia as a UK doctor. In general, however, when moving from one country to another most doctors find it useful to engage with a medical recruitment company as they can tend to take some of the stress out of the planning for you and help with all the paperwork and negotiating with prospective employers. Some medical recruitment companies also provide migration services and relocation services as well. We have written more on this subject here. And a list of medical recruitment companies is available here.

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Anthony Llewellyn

Anthony Llewellyn

FRANZCP, MHA, GAICD | Medical HR Expert and Coach. Anthony is an experienced health public sector executive, medical educationalist and coach. Anthony is an expert in Medical HR. He has reviewed numerous CVs, chaired and conducted over a thousand job interviews and provided advice to a number of employers and Colleges about selection processes. Anthony's background: Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Manager with 20 years’ experience as a medical practitioner in public health services in a range of roles. From 2012 to 2016, Anthony was the Medical Director of the Health Education & Training Institute (HETI), involved in overseeing a number of network training programs. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle’s School of Medicine & Public Health, and Year 5 Psychiatry Coordinator. He is currently completing a PhD in Medical Education, exploring personal learning environments in the intern training space. Anthony recently delivered for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians a Best Practice Guide for Trainee Selection into Employment Roles Anthony was born on Mouheneenner land in Hobart (Tasmania) and pays respect to the traditional owners of lands he lives and works on, and elders past and present. His two most important roles in life are proud husband and proud father of two boys.

66 thoughts on “UK Doctors Working In Australia: Job Prospects, Registration & Costs.”

  1. For instance an IMG who took and completed the Plab, had one year of experience in the UK, can apply for an HMO job in Australia without taking the MCQ and Clinical examinations in Australia?

      1. Thank you for the prompt response Anthony 😃 the AMC exams have only 10% passing rate, while plab has 50%, many IMGs take the back door and take the plab rather than amc mcq to practice in Australia. That sound unfair to those struggling that are already in Australia

        1. Anthony Llewellyn

          This is not exactly true. The AMC PArt 1 has a pass rate of around 60%, whilst Part 2 less than 30%, which is tough. But the big problem is getting a position after these exams.

          1. Hi Anthony,

            All I want to know is: Is the LAT [Locum as Training] position in the UK accepted as “Internship equivalent”? What other posts are considered “Internship equivalent” as per Category A of competent pathway.

          2. Anthony Llewellyn

            Hi Saif if you are referring to a position such as described here Then yes. I would say this is likely to be accepted by the Medical Board Australia as “intern equivalent” as you have both a clinical and educational supervisor and the Medical Board only requests “confirmation in writing and/or certificate of service from the hospital(s) and/or employer(s) that you have had a minimum of 12 months practice in the UK”.

          3. Hello Anthony,
            What did you mean by that
            “But the big problem is getting a position after these exams” ?

          4. Anthony Llewellyn

            Hello, I mean that whilst the AMC Clinical is hard. Most doctors find it even harder to get their first position after completing the AMC process.

  2. thanks for the information. Is it true that changes have been made to the visa type you get if one comes in as RMO? that is, the visa type will not permit you to apply for a PR?

    is it advisable to write australian medical exams, ielta and apply for PR straight up, even if you have done Plab and have one year working experience in the uk? The rationale behind this pattern is that you get the privileges of PR especially if you have to travel with children.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi, the types of visas available are semi-regularly reviewed. Sometimes you have to move from one visa to another. One of the key considerations is whether the work you are doing is in an area where there is poor labour supply in Australia. So really obtaining a job is a key part of this.

  3. Hello
    My name is Nayia Theodorou from Medeco Medical Centre Penrith . We have career opportunities for general practice doctors and also for GPs specialising in Skin Cancer. I was wondering how about advertising with your database for any UK GPs that would want to relocate here. We are a DWS area(District Workforce Shortage) and we would only be interested in VR GPs.

    Many thanks

    Nayia Theodorou

  4. Jad Kesserwani

    Hello. I am an FY1 doctor in the UK planning on working in Australia after my FY2. Would it be possible to then do the year of supervised work, and then apply for training? My particular interest is neurology, so I assume it would be the equivalent of core medical training before speciality training. Or are these opportunities not open to non-citizens? Thanks in advance.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello Jad

      With your UK degree and FY2 you are eligible for competent authority. You would be able to apply for a suitable level of post to do your provisional registration. Its probable that you could apply for a Senior Resident Medical Officer role in Medicine for this. Once you have your general registration you would be able to apply to the RACP to be a trainee. The RACP does not have current restrictions based on citizenship or permanent residency.

      1. Thanks for your reply! When you mention the need for permanent residency or citizenship to enter a training program, does that include BPT? And is it possible for IMGs to train in major cities such as Melbourne?

        1. Anthony Llewellyn

          There are only certain programs and colleges that require permanent residency the main ones being the college of surgeons and the main general practice training program. It’s not a requirement for BPT.

    2. Dr Kushal Aggarwal

      Hello Dr Anthony,

      I am Dr Kushal amd I just wanted to ask about the process of moving to Australia after completing Core training from the UK.

      1. Anthony Llewellyn

        Hello Kushal by Core Training do you mean the Foundation Program or Specialty Training? And are you referring to someone who has graduated medical school in the UK or come through the PLAB process?

        1. Kushal Aggarwal

          I mean to say that someone has come to UK through plab process and then as you know the training pathway in UK is comprised as core training which is after foundation year 2 and is called CT1 and CT2 and after that we enter in the speciality training called St2 and ST 3 and so on.
          So in a nutshell what’s the pathway for an IMG who has entered UK through PLAB process and wants to move to Australia?

          1. Anthony Llewellyn

            OK. So I think that’s already covered here. You are eligible for the competent authority pathway.

  5. Hii
    I have completed MD Internal Medicine from India and also MRCP UK, currently working as a Specialist Internal Medicine in UAE. I wanted to know about the process of Specialist Pathway to UK. Am I eligible for that? Is it difficult or easy to go through this pathway? What are the major hurdles

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Sheeraz. If you go to my YouTube channel Career Doctor, there is a partly completed series on the Specialist Pathway.

  6. Hi
    Any idea if i finished my CCT in anaesthetic and pain in UK, how easy to get a job in Australia? Is it the specialist pathway you think?

    Thanks for your help


    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Thanks Raf Yes you would be looking at specialist pathway. I would think it would be reasonably easy to gain a position so long as you are not too choosy about where you work. Let me know if you want to book a coaching session to go over things in more detail.

  7. Hi Anthony, thanks for the informative article. My girlfriend is a UK trained doctor but didnt do internship there (hence no GMC reg), she moved to Singapore straight afterwards to work there. Now we are planning a move to Australia, and we are seeking information regarding her job prospects in Australia. She will have to go thru the Standard Pathway. I read online that she’ll have to work in rural areas in order to be able to bill from Medicare. We’re willing go rural for a few years, but ultimately want to move to urban areas. Are overseas trained doctors able to practice in the big cities? Any idea what the job situation is like? Would you say it’s quite tough for overseas doctors to find a job in the big cities? Thanks heaps! Max

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Max. Your girlfriend will likely need to work in rural or regional areas to secure a position. With a UK degree she will probably find it easier to get a job. You should also find out if the GMC would recognise her training in Singapore for registration purposes. This may permit her to go via competent authority. Once you qualify as a Specialist in Australia as an IMG you are subject to a 10-year moratorium on where you can work under the Medicare system. Its a big myth that this consigns you to only rural areas as meany regional and even capital city areas get included as what is termed District of Workforce Shortage.

  8. Hi Anthony. I am currently finishing medical school in the UK and plan to complete FY1, after which I plan to practice in Australia via the Competent Authority Pathway. As an Australian citizen, I’m curious as to how my application would be seen. I’m assuming it would mean I am simply an IMG, but I was wondering if there would be any priority (i.e. better chance of being registered with the AMC). Thanks, Ruben

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi, Ruben, you have several advantages above other IMGs. Your citizenship status gives you priority for jobs and the UK registration means you are eligible for the competent authority pathway which employers prefer over standard pathway.

  9. Hi Anthony,
    I have completed all my medical training in the U.K. This includes higher specialist training in Plastic surgery. However, as some of my training was completed out of program, I will be awarded a CESR rather than a CCT in Plastic surgery.

    I am already working in Australia doing a fellowship here under the Competent Authority Pathway at present, with provisional registration. So my question is if I wish to stay in Aus, can I now apply for Specialist assessment – bear in mind I have a CESR not “CCT” from the UK. What would the prospects of being granted this?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Ben

      I would say that you still have a good chance. It would depend on how much of your training was completed outside of the UK program and what the other program constituted. If you would like me to go over it with you then we have coaching sessions where we can go into it in more depth.

  10. Dear Anthony,
    I am a UK-based physician with CCT, having done my undergraduate degree, foundation programme and specialist training in the UK. I have been assessed as substantially comparable by RACP and will require a period of peer review before being awarded FRACP.
    I have recently been offered a specialist position in Australia. For AHPRA registration, should I use the Application for Specialist Registration AGSP-30 or Provisional Registration APRI-30?
    Thanks so much for putting together this highly informative website.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi, congratulations on the job offer. Because you are eligible under competent authority you would apply for Provisional registration (for IMGs qualified for the Competent Authority pathway). But I would be checking in with your employer to see what they want you to do. It is normal for the employer to provide guidance at this point. If you need any more help we can book a coaching session and go through things for you.

  11. Hi Anthony, thank you for this very useful article. I am an FY2 doctor in the UK. I will be looking to apply for 1 year SHO/RMO locum posts in Australia from August 2020 onwards on completion of my training. What visas are doctors likely to be offered now the 457 has been abolished? Will it be the ‘Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482)’?

    The reason I am interested is to enquire about the eligibility of bringing my partner out to Australia with me on my visa? Many thanks

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Luke, 482 is the most common now. This is a situation I would recommend talking with an agent about as they can probably help with the locum side of things. Although it may be better to just target a one year contract somewhere. Let me know if you need a referral.

  12. If someone has MRCPSY & CESR with higher training(ST) in Psychiatry in UK ( core training is from non-UK), then how is the chance to get substantial comparibility in Australia. He does not want to go through partial comparibility & write exams anymore. Any place including AoN is fine for him.

  13. Great article. What are the hurdles for a Canadian who completed their MD in Australia, completed their specialist training in Canada, and then would like to return to Australia as a specialist (e.g. in internal medicine)?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi, Jennifer thanks for the question. I will get around to writing a post for Canadian doctors eventually but most of the things on this post are relevant to Canada. I’m assuming you have the LMCC in which case you will be eligible for posts where they are happy to take someone under Competent Authority. You can probably reach out to employers directly but it may help to also contact some recruiters. Let me know if you need any specific help and we can set up a coaching session.

  14. Hi Dr Llewellyn, I’m a Spanish medical graduate and I just completed 4 years post-graduated of training in Paediatric. My partner is Australian and we were thinking about moving there by the end of this year. I’m currently preparing for AMC part 1, but after reading your article and some of the comments I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better to try the PLAB.. Also I don’t know if my paediatric training could be also recognised this way..
    Any help or advice is very much appreciated! Thank you

  15. Hi Anthony,
    I have completed my internship in a EU country and have also passed PLAB. I am looking to go to England this year and do FY2 there.

    I am curious, will I be eligible for the competent authority pathway after completing only FY2 in England?

    When I read the eligibility criteria on AHPRA it states that “either FY1 or 12 months of supervised training (internship equivalent) needs to be completed.”
    Even though FY2 is supervised training, it is one level above an internship and therefore not equivalent I presume ?

    Thank you.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello John, as I think I have also replied to the Facebook group. The Medical Board will be happy with an FY2 experience year.

      1. Hi,
        I am a doctor working in clinical fellowship in internal medicine in UK at present.
        I have completed my MBBS & MD Internal medicine from India with around 5 years of experience.
        I have cleared MRCP also.
        Can you please let me know what are the opportunities if I want to move to Australia ?
        Would it make some difference if I get my core competencies signed off?
        Also would it be possible if I want to pursue further superspeciality over there?

  16. Hello Anthony,
    First question: I have a french qualification as a doctor. I am about to have the new zealand registration, does it provide any advantage in the process of application to practice in Australia ?
    Second question : if someone have foreign degrees of medecine (from North Africa ) + PLAB + UK registration without supervised year , but instead , one year of a consultant position, could it be sufficient to apply for the competent way in Australia .
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Amine general registration through the NZ system will have you seen as equivalent in Australia. So that definitely helps. If you don’t have a properly supervised year in the UK then all the other parts of the PLAB will not count for you. Hope this helps. Good luck with your application.

  17. Hi,
    I’m an Indian doctor, who passed the PLAB, worked for 2 years as a Trust doctor, now am an Internal Medicine Trainee (the reformed Core Medical Training, now 3 years instead of 2) in the UK. I’m quite interested in Medical Oncology but Training posts have been substantially reduced, hence looking at Australia as an alternative after finishing my IMT. How are my prospects at gaining accredition through the Competent Authority pathway ? When can I apply for advanced training ? What sort of posts (non-training) should I look out for ?
    ps I have considerable career gaps before my UK registration.

    1. By sort of posts, I mean what level posts will I need to apply for ? Are there any non-training Registrar jobs in medical oncology available ?

  18. Hello Anthony.
    My question is that can a UK trained consultant work as international locum tenen in Australia and Newzealand as US trained doctors do?
    If yes then what are the requirements and at what grade can can a UK trained consultant work in OZ as international locum?
    Thanks in advance

  19. Hello Anthony, thank you for this article.
    I’m an IMG in the Uk, passed PLAB and currently doing an RMO job. What are my chances of getting an SHO job in Australia after completing one year in the UK. Since the RMO job is not an FY2 job.

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      So long as you can prove supervision you should still be eligible for competent authority. So long as you are not too choosy you will likely pick up a position in Australia.

  20. Hi Anthony,

    Thank you for this article. I am currently working in Australia on a 482 visa. I am a UK trainee mid way through Paediatric speciality training but am looking at staying here long term now.

    Can I ask what the restrictions of the visa are- Like what are the implications if I took a job working for a different hospital here? Would I have to go through the whole visa process and cost again?

    Also, assuming I continued to work at the same place- what happens while I apply for and await PR? Is it possible for the visa to be extended beyond 2 years by the sponsors? How long does the PR process usually take?


    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hello Gemma
      I think you would be best off discussing with a registered migration agent. You can get into trouble giving advice about visas if you are not an expert in this area.
      As I understand it, it sounds like you are on short term specialist training which is strictly limited to 2 years. So your options are probably around getting generally registered via competent authority and then getting your UK and Aus training considered by the RACP.
      There are normally some good options to obtain PR once you have general registration. But as I say you should talk to a registered agent.

  21. Hi Anthony,
    I am Canadian with MD from Jagiellonian University in Poland and have completed FY1 in UK.
    I did not need PLAB. What are my options for getting into GP training in Australia?

    1. Anthony Llewellyn

      Hi Bob
      You could either get specialist recognition as a GP in the UK and then apply for same here or would need to go via standard pathway.

  22. Hi Anthony,

    Could you please clarify how an overseas consultant pediatrician from Middle East can obtain (a training post) to apply for short term training pathway?

    Thank you.

  23. Hi Anthony,

    I have completed Plab1+2 and I intend to work in the Republic of Ireland for 1 year at the level of SHO.

    Will this pattern be acceptable for the competent authority pathway? On the Aphra website, it states that “Successful completion of an internship in Ireland (Certificate of experience)” is required, but it is very difficult to get an Internship in Ireland.

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